Type:   Service

Delivery Method:  Case by Case Analysis

Service Description:

Coding and Critiquing a previously recorded MI session offers the equivalent to a thorough exam-based medical diagnosis, a complete “physical”.  The depth and level of detail in JSAT’s coding allows for generating a critique that consists of accurate feedback encompassing both negative and positive aspects detected in the recorded MI session.  JSAT offers two report format options: SkillBuilder I, which is based on the MITI-3.1, and, SkillBuilder II, which is based on the MITI-4.0. Both of the latter coding report systems incorporate significant additional coding information taken from the MISC approach to coding change talk as well as other research findings (e.g., recording the slope of change talk, how MI processes are managed, etc.). The findings fill in a four page graphic report that provides both graphs and narrative feedback about the interviewer’s skills plus established national norms for performance in assessment interviewing and scoring. The recording critique report empowers the interviewer to pursue successfully the progress to high levels of in MI competency by suggesting “doing less of what doesn’t work and more of what does work”.


  • Maintaining high levels of inter-rater reliability amongst coders is essential for providing viable feedback. JSAT coders participate in monthly, several hour long Coder Communities of Practice. These CoPs require face to face participation and intense focus on the part of coders. Prior to the monthly meetings, all coders are sent the same tape of an MI session to code independently and submit their ratings to the JSAT Coordinator, who analyses and compiles the aggregate results in numeric and graphic formats. At least part of every Coder CoP is going over the results of these reports, re-listening to original tape and reviewing scoring rules. This is a process that assures higher levels of inter-rater reliability. Many entities that code tapes for hire eschew such a process and cannot demonstrate records at all that track coder fidelity.

Anonymous Proficiency Chart

Why JSAT ?

  • JSAT has been coding MI tapes since 1997; during this time, JSAT developed its own hybrid system incorporating parts of the MISC, the completed MITI and the STICS coding system; we have coded well over 3,000 practitioners MI sessions; JSAT coders are the most experienced coders anywhere.
  • JSAT has been involved in this enterprise longer and more extensively than any other agency in the US.  JSAT has coded more MI tapes than any organization in the world.
  • JSAT developed a unique and sophisticated system for coding that incorporates the MITI-3 and 4, as well as important parts of the MISC system as well as for coding for the slope and content (STICS coding system) of each client’s session change talk. We are the only entity that provides this critical feedback.
  • JSAT’s coders have established tremendous longevity and stability. They participate in a unique CoP expressly dedicated to continuous improvement of coder inter-rater reliability.

 Technical Description:

Coding motivational interviewing sessions is instrumental for assessing competence in the use of motivational interviewing by focusing on the conversation that goes on between the MI practitioner and client.  One area of emphasis is the degree to which “change talk” is being elicited.  Coding is the vehicle for learning to criterion since it allows for objective feedback which can then accompanied with subjective feedback by MI coaches.  JSAT coders carefully and explicitly code for change talk that is graphed in the SkillBuilder reports so that the amount of client CT and the slope over time is depicted.

Coding pinpoints simple vs. complex reflections, open vs. closed questions, the ratio of reflections to questions, the degree of change talk vs. sustain talk, inconsistent responses, and so forth.  This coding forms the basis for a sound critique of each MI session. The detailed feedback provided via JSAT’s granular and accurate coding is a driver for the ongoing process of becoming competent in MI practice.  JSAT’s has made it one of its hallmarks to infuse its coding reports with a sense of treading along that path.

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